For the first time in two months, the U.S. mortgage rate has increased. This improvement comes following a period of stability in the global market. Economic anxiety has stressed the market for weeks. Last Thursday, March 3, Freddie Mac reported that the average interest rate on a thirty-year fixed mortgage had increased from 3.62 percent to 3.64 percent, a very modest improvement but the first improvement since January. The interest rate’s benchmark, however, continues to stay below the 3.75 percent that the market saw last year.
The housing market has also changed in a number of other ways as the stock market began to recover from the lows it experienced at the beginning of 2016. When it closed on Friday, March 4, the market saw gains for the third week in a row. This comes after weeks of U.S. government bond prices shooting higher and higher while investors looked for safe bets. As the decline in prices improved the bond yields, mortgage rates increased.
The average interest rate on a fifteen-year fixed mortgage also improved by a very small amount, moving from 2.93 percent to 2.94 percent. This improvement seems negligible, but it marks the first increase in weeks. Five-year adjustable mortgage rates also increased from 2.79 percent to 2.84 percent.
It is important to note that while the global market does appear to have stabilized, market experts do not expect to see the Federal Reserve raise their short-term interest rate again. They did this once in December 2015, but it most likely will not occur in the immediate future.